Gospel: (Mark 6:30-34) The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.
Reflection: Last Sunday Jesus sent his apostles on mission; this Sunday they face the harsh reality that the mission will wear them out. The exhaustion can come from the good work and the “great numbers” of people who need help. The needs are great and it can be exhausting to try to meet them. Whatever the cause of being worn out, Jesus is there to listen, support, and invite us to rest a bit. If we let Jesus gather us in, he will take care of us. We all need to go off to a “deserted place” occasionally to “rest awhile.” Whether this means taking some time alone each day to pray and rest in God, making Sunday truly a day of rest, or setting aside a few days a year to make a retreat, all of us need time to regain our strength so we can take up our own shepherding tasks. If the mission overwhelms us, we will be unable to persevere. Living faithful to the mission Jesus has given us requires that we balance action and contemplation. (Living Liturgy, p.174)
Vincentian Meditation: Vincent de Paul, a great man of action, was also a contemplative, caught up in God and consumed by his love. His contemplation of God’s love overflowed into practical love for the poor. He encourages his followers: “Let us all give ourselves completely to the practice of prayer, since it is by it that all good things come to us. If we persevere, it is thanks to prayer. If we succeed in our employments, it is thanks to prayer. If we do not fall into sin, it is thanks to prayer. If we remain in charity and if we are saved, all that happens is thanks to God and thanks to prayer. Just as God refuses nothing to prayer, so also He grants almost nothing without prayer.” (Maloney, He Hears the Cry of the Poor, p. 98)
As a Vincentian, how can you become more like a “contemplative in action?”